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US Government Clarifies Issue Concerning Purported Visa Ban On El-Rufai, Oshiomhole, Yaya Bello, Others

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Contrary to widespread rumour that the American Government has issued visa ban of some Politicians notably Adams Oshiomhole, Yaya Bello, El-Rufai, Ganduje, among others, the US authority claimed the list of those places on Visa ban were never revealed .

The United States of America has given reasons it will not reveal the identities of Nigerian politicians issued visa bans for interfering in electoral processes.

On Monday, the US government announced the ban on some Nigerians, who undermined the November 2019 governorship polls in Bayelsa and Kogi States.

On why the identities of those affected were not disclosed, the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, it was because of the confidentiality attached to visa-related matters.

Leonard stated this on Wednesday, while speaking at the end of the inaugural consular meeting with Nigeria officials.

According to her, the names cannot be made public “as US visa processes are in fact confidential and so we do not publish a list, we do not make public who it is that would be subjected to this sanction.

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Eid – el Kabir: Embrace Sacrifice, Fulfill Promises Made During Electioneering Campaigns, Ajadi Admonishes Political Officer Holders

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Eid – el Kabir: Embrace Sacrifice, Fulfill Promises Made During Electioneering Campaigns, Ajadi Admonishes Political Officer Holders

 

 

An industrialist and Chieftain of the New Nigeria People’s Party, (NNPP), Ambassador Olufemi Ajadi Oguntoyinbo has used the occasion of this year Eid-el Kabir to call on political leaders to embrace the principle of sacrifices in the handling of the affairs of the country.

He also urged them to always remember and fulfill whatever promises they made to the electorate during the electioneering campaigns.

 

 

 

Eid – El Kabir is celebrated Worldwide by the Muslim faithful to commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to Allah’s (God) command in the Islamic tradition, just as Ibrahim was about to carry out the sacrifice in fulfilment of promise made, Allah intervened and provided a ram to be sacrificed instead of his son, Ismaheel.

Ajadi in his message to mark the occasion of Eid El Kabir on Sunday urged political leaders to emulate Ibrahim’s obedience to Allah’s command and fulfilment of promise made to Allah, urging them to also make necessary sacrifice to grow the nation and bring prosperity to the people of Nigeria.

According to him, “I rejoice with Muslim faithful across the country on this occasion of Eid el Kabir. I wish them a successful celebration devoid of crisis and rancour.

“Despite the current harsh economy, I urged our Muslim brothers and sisters to rejoice for the gift of life. When we are alive, there is hope of a better tomorrow. We should particularly be grateful to Almighty Allah for the peace we are currently enjoying in our nation.

“Also as usual I call on Nigerians to use this auspicious occasion to pray for our leaders both at the national and state levels for God to continue guiding their steps and helping them to lead the country from hardship to prosperity.

“Our political leaders should also learn from the sacrifice made by Ibrahim to surrender his only son for sacrifice promised to Allah until Allah saw his clean mind and replaced him with a ram for sacrifice. No sacrifice is too much to ensure peaceful and prosperity of Nigerians.

“When leaders make the necessary sacrifice, God will intervene and bring prosperity on our land.

“Political Leaders must remember the promises made during the electioneering campaigns and fulfill the promises to the electorate who based on these promises defied rain and hot sunshine to vote them to power.

“Our leaders should fear and respect Almighty God and because of this they should work day and night to ensure the masses are not suffering any untold hardship”.

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Why We Must Protect Nigeria’s Democracy, Obasa, Fashola, Foreign Diplomats Speak

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Why We Must Protect Nigeria’s Democracy, Obasa, Fashola, Foreign Diplomats Speak

 

 

Despite its challenges, democracy in Nigeria must be protected by every citizen, speakers at an event to commemorate the country’s 25 years of unbroken democratic governance organised by the Lagos State House of Assembly have warned.

Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, former governor of Lagos, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, foreign diplomats, and business experts argued on Wednesday evening that democracy has benefitted the Nigeria since 1999 when the country began its fourth republic.

Others who spoke at the event include Prof. Eghosa Osaghae of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Dr. Muda Yusuf, former chairman of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce, and Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM).

Dr. Obasa said Nigeria deserved to celebrate because in the last 25 years, the country has successfully transferred power from one administration to another, uphold the principles of representation, accountability, and the rule of law.

“Our democracy has endured despite challenges and setbacks. We have faced elections, protests, and debates, but our commitment to democracy has remained unwavering.

“We have demonstrated that democracy is not a destination but a journey, and we are proud to be on this path. We must continue to guard it jealously, for it is the foundation upon which the fabric of our nation’s progress is built.

“We must continue to promote democratic values, protect human rights, and ensure that our democracy remains perpetually unbroken,” the Speaker said while recalling the struggle and sacrifice made by well-meaning Nigerians during the struggle for democracy.

Obasa noted the roles so far played by the state legislature in the scheme of Nigeria’s progress to include promotion of good governance, accountability, and the rule of law as well as passage of bills that have transformed the lives of citizens.

“As a transformative and people-centric legislature, the House of Assembly has delivered impactful laws and representation, reforming justice, social welfare, and security systems, and driving tax reforms, infrastructural development, and transportation improvements.

“These have attracted significant attention from local and international admirers, leading to frequent visits from international representatives and private citizens seeking to learn from us, exchange ideas, conduct research, or participate in exchange programmes,” the Speaker said.

He urged Nigerians to continue to support state Houses of Assembly to further deepen democratic values and bring governance closer to the grassroots.

FASHOLA
The former governor of Lagos said 25 years of democracy has provided an opportunity for effective representation of the people as well as freedom to make laws.

Urging Nigerians to hold on to democracy very jealously, he argued that the federal system practised in Nigeria remains important to the country’s growth.

“For those who are understandably impatient with democracy, I hear them. It can be a tedious way to govern. There is no better way to order our affairs. I will not trade the liberties it offers for anything else.

“We are a federal state and let me tell you why. We have multi-level legislative houses from the local councils to the National Assembly. We have multi-level judicial system.

“We also find different levels of government exercising different forms of responsibilities and this you can find in the exclusive and concurrent lists and, of course, what you can’t find in those two lists, is the residual authority that resides in the states. For example, the Senate cannot make laws on landlords and tenants laws and rent control,” he said.

Speaking about some changes that have happened in Nigeria in the last 25 years, he recalled the ‘famous resource control case’ which originated from Lagos and was resolved through the constitution making some states earn better now. He also recalled the matter relating to local government creation during the administration of Asiwaju Tinubu as governor.

“As at 1999, if you wanted to build a house in Lagos, you would go and get permit in Abuja. It was the Lagos State government that went to court to stop it,” he said adding that the cases were fought and won because of the quest for a perfect union.

Urging support for President Tinubu’s administration, expressed optimism that wages and salaries and issues with the creation of state police would become reality.

FOREIGN DIPLOMATS
The Consul General of the French embassy in Lagos, Laurent Favier, while congratulating Nigeria, said “democracy is not a state of perfection but something people have to fight for at all times. It is a political structure that must be deepened.”

He expressed satisfaction with how democracy in Nigeria has ensured freedom just as he urged the country not to relent in making citizens happy.

On the other hand, Weert Börner, Consul General of Germany, said his country with 16 states, practises same federal system as Nigeria adding that this results in healthy competitions.

He affirmed that Nigerians enjoy freedom of opinions, one of the characteristics of democracy.

He commended Nigeria over its Electricity Act which gives states power to generate electricity noting that Germany followed same part 25 years ago resulting in about two million electricity producers in the country.

Consul General of the Embassy of Italy, Ugo Boni assured that the government of his country will continue to be a trustworthy companion of Nigeria while the British Deputy High Commissioner, Lagos, Jonny Baxter, said: “In these challenging times, it is important that we support each other in our shared commitment to democracy.

“Nigeria’s democratic resilience and significance in West Africa serves as an example to other nations seeking to strengthen and protect their own democracies.”

“The UK looks forward to partnering with Lagos and Nigeria in the next 25 years and more.”

Michael Ervin, political and economic section chief at the US Consulate General, Lagos, said Nigeria is an example of how diverse people can unite and ensure freedom for all.

He congratulated Lagos Assembly and noted that Lagos opens the door to the development of Nigeria.

 

Why We Must Protect Nigeria’s Democracy, Obasa, Fashola, Foreign Diplomats Speak

Eromosele Ebhomele
Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly.

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LG funds: S’Court reserves judgment

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LG funds: S’Court reserves judgment

LG funds: S’Court reserves judgment

 

The Supreme Court, on Thursday, reserved judgment in the suit filed by the Federal Government against the 36 state governments, seeking to enforce the financial autonomy of the 774 local government areas.

The court reserved judgment after the parties adopted their briefs.

In the suit filed by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), the Federal Government accused the state governments of stifling local governments and withholding their funds.

But the 36 states, through their AGs, vehemently opposed the suit and urged the Supreme Court to dismiss it.

 

 

In the suit, marked SC/CV/343/2024, the Federal Government wants the apex court to enforce the autonomy of the local government by, among other things, stopping state governors from appointing caretaker committees to administer local governments in their states.

The Federal Government wants the Supreme Court to rule that any local government manned by a caretaker committee instead of an elected local government chairman and councillors should have their funds from the Federation Account withheld.

It also wants the court to rule that funds due to local governments from the Federation Account should be paid directly to them instead of through the state government to guarantee their autonomy.

 

 

 

The seven man-panel, of the apex court led by Justice Garba Lawal, announced that parties in the matter would be communicated when the judgment was ready after parties in the suit adopted their processes on Thursday.

All 36 states in their response opposed the FG’s suit and appealed to the court to throw out the suit.

The AGF, on his part, asked the apex court to grant all the reliefs sought by the Federal Government in the suit.

The AGF said,  “I adopt and rely on these processes. I urge My Lords to overrule the various objections and grant the originating summons.”

While some states claimed that they were denied fair hearing and weren’t served, the AGF clarified that he sent copies of the affidavits to the defendants via WhatsApp and emails.

He added that the court bailiff also served the defendants in their various state liaison offices in Abuja.

The PUNCH reported that the Federal Government, in the suit, is urging the apex court to issue “an order prohibiting state governors from unilateral, arbitrary and unlawful dissolution of democratically elected local government leaders for local governments.”

 

 

 

In the suit predicted on 27 grounds, the Federal Government accused the state governors of gross misconduct and abuse of power.

The FG, in the originating summons, prayed the Supreme Court to make an order expressly stating that funds standing to the credit of local governments from the Federation Account should be paid directly to the local governments rather than through the state governments.

The justice minister also prayed for “an order of injunction restraining the governors, their agents and privies from receiving, spending or tampering with funds released from the Federation Account for the benefits of local governments when no democratically elected local government system is put in place in the states.”

The Federal Government further sought “an order stopping governors from constituting caretaker committees to run the affairs of local governments as against the Constitutionally recognised and guaranteed democratic system.”

The originating summons was backed by a 13-paragraph affidavit deposed to by one Kelechi Ohaeri of the Federal Ministry of Justice.

Ohaeri, in the affidavit, averred that the AGF instituted the suit against the governors under the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court on behalf of the Federal Government.

He said, “The Constitution of Nigeria recognises federal, state and local governments as three tiers of government and the three recognised tiers of government draw funds for their operation and functioning from the Federation Account created by the Constitution.

 

 

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